China urges Sweden to heed concern over tourists ejected from hotel | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

19 December, Wednesday


China urges Sweden to heed concern over tourists ejected from hotel

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China on Monday urged Sweden to take seriously its concern over the removal by police of three Chinese citizens from a hotel in Stockholm, after the incident sparked uproar on Chinese social media and an unusually strong response from Beijing.
 
Police forcibly ejected a Chinese man surnamed Zeng and his parents from a hotel in Stockholm in the early hours of Sept. 2 after they arrived a day before their booking and were asked to leave, according to Chinese state media.
 
China has lodged representations with Sweden about the incident and has asked for an immediate response to the complaint, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular briefing.
 
“We again urge Sweden to take China’s concerns seriously, and to take practical measures to protect the security and legitimate interests of Chinese tourists,” he said.
 
Sweden had not yet responded to China’s requests for an update on the investigation, which was not in accord with diplomatic convention, Geng added.
 
Swedish prosecutor Mats Ericsson told the Aftonbladet daily that no preliminary investigation had been initiated because “we made the assessment that no crime on the part of the police had been committed”.
 
“The police have the right to move someone from one place to another. It is very common and standardized police procedure to do so,” Ericsson said.
 
Sweden has been repeatedly calling for China to release Swedish citizen Gui Minhai, a Hong Kong-based bookseller who has been held by Chinese authorities since 2015 after he was abducted in Thailand and taken to China.
 
An official paper of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, the People’s Daily Overseas Edition, accused Sweden of hypocrisy.
 
“Some Western nations, including Sweden, always praise themselves for their human rights, freedom and equality. But when it comes to China’s people and issues, they seem to often show a different face, a different set of standards.”
 
A video clip of the tourists wailing and crying as they sat on the ground outside the hotel door has drawn mixed reactions from Chinese internet users.
 
Some blamed the Swedish police for mistreating the tourists, but many lambasted the travelers, saying their behavior was unseemly and accusing them of embarrassing China by over-reacting and feigning injury.
 
“I really find these types of people too infuriating. Could they please not make a spectacle of themselves and give the motherland some face?” said one user wrote on the Weibo social media platform.

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